Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #9

Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Daniel Bayliss and Irene Flores
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Archaia

Review by Melissa Prange

Reeling from the “betrayal” of Skubbin, Maria and her unlikely band of friends become captives in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #9. With only three issues left in this series, the plot begins escalating towards the final showdown between Maria and the Owl King as the group of friends try to escape their captor.

Maria, imprisoned in a mirage of her old life, finds fleeting happiness with a clockwork Albert. The memory of their son, however, weakens the Owl King’s hold on them, giving Maria a chance to escape. Cible and Tangle, meanwhile, find themselves locked away in the Bog of Eternal Stench with little hope of rescue. Maria must break through her illusionary prison and Skubbin must find redemption in order to save them and (possibly) defeat the Owl King.

In present day, Sarah also becomes a captive, locked within a masquerade as Jareth draws closer to achieving his aim. Secrets concerning Beetlegum may also be coming to light, placing both he and Toby in danger.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #9 sets up a grand finale for the series. Maria and her friends have been through hardship after hardship and are finally preparing to take on their tormentor. Faux Albert reveals the Owl King’s true plan and it’s more devious than anyone expected. With Maria’s breakout, the companions have hopefully been tricked and captured for the last time. Not a lot happens in this issue, but, by the end, all the pieces are fitting together. It gives me hope that the series will culminate in a strong finish.

While the ninth issue is light on story, it does contain some fantastic art. Two full-paged panels, in particular, are very impressive, and Sarah’s journey through the masquerade is as otherworldly as you would expect. There are no new creatures introduced in this issue, but the depiction of the Bog of Eternal Stench is one of the more elaborate locations this series has shown in a while.   

The Verdict: Buy it.

Overall, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #9 is a strong issue in the series. While it’s annoying to have these characters constantly being tricked or captured, it was refreshing to see minor character development in this issue as a result of the fallout from Skubbin’s betrayal. As the series comes to a close, I hold out hope that the fits and starts and minor frustrations in this series will be worth it all in the end. 

Melissa Prange

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